On a second trip to Northamptonshire in a week Biggleswade returned home again as losers – this time they went down 19-7 to Daventry by in Midlands 3 East (South).
Due to injuries and unavailability Biggleswade were forced to make changes with four players missing from the forwards and two in the backs.
On the plus side Stuart Phipps returned at fly-half and Tom McEwan at number eight.
Biggleswade started well taking the game to the home team and playing some good rugby in the opening quarter.
However it was Daventry who scored first using their quick winger to run a misdirected kick back at pace and stretching the Biggy defence. A second try soon followed this time through the forwards where Biggleswade could just not marshal their troops in time to block the pathway.
Now 14 points down the visitors seemed to be up against it. But they played with spirit, none more so in the three-quarters. Shane Austin and George Tiley relished the opportunity to run the ball back at the Daventry defence. Why the hosts opted to kick the ball so many times seemed odd after their first try.
Austin and Tiley together with full-back Elliott Tunstall were more than equal to the challenge of the high up and under aimed in their direction. The only curiosity was the pink strapping strips on the back of Tunstall’s thighs for which he could offer no explanation!
Unfortunately when things were starting to look better Shane Austin was forced to the side lines after receiving a heavy knock in a tackle. His namesake Shane Manning also had a spell on the bench either side of half-time. This binning came after disputing the match official’s interpretation of a situation. This allowed the home team another try before the break.
The second period was very much more even as Biggleswade toiled in the sun to find a way back. Some elements of their game were very impressive with Stuart Phipps showing just when it was the right moment to give a pass as the defence were committed to the tackle. The forwards too showed that they knew the skill with skipper Jimmy Caulfield showing he too had learnt the art of the well-timed pass.
But it was at close quarters that Biggleswade finally got their well-deserved try. The pack which had struggled at times in the scrums and also at the line out in the absence of the injured Gareth Rutt finally had their say.
From a catch and drive the tiring Daventry forwards had no answer to a well- directed rolling maul. The Biggleswade player at the bottom of the pile with the ball in hands was the skipper Jimmy Caulfield for his first try for over two seasons. Luke Haverly made light of the tricky conversion from the ‘wrong’ side.
In the post-match huddle as the home side celebrated their victory coach Shane Manning had a few hard words, but shorn of so many first choices it had been a spirited performance away from home.
Next up are Dunstablians in two weeks’ time. After an early loss and a narrow win Dunstablians have put 60 points on both St Neots and Aylestone St James who Biggleswade have also beaten by comfortable margins.